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‘Save London Transport Museum’ campaign goes to Parliament

4 January 2013

TSSA is moving up a gear in our campaign to save London Transport Museum. Over the last six months members have responded to the threat to their jobs and pay with an energetic and broad-based campaign, gaining the support of numerous politicians and members of the public.

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After lobbying the museum's Board of Trustees in September, we set our sights on the real power players in this situation: Transport for London and its chair, Boris Johnson. In December, we gathered hundreds of Christmas messages of support from the public, presenting them to TfL at their City Hall board meeting, alongside a letter calling on TfL to reinstate the museum's funding.

Transport for London has slashed its grant to the museum by 25 per cent for the funding round up to 2016, throwing the museum into crisis. In response, the museum management has proposed a reorganisation and are drawing up plans which threaten job losses and the hiking of the entrance fee to £15. There is also a fear that the museum intends to withdraw from the TfL collective bargaining mechanism – a move that would be vigorously opposed by TSSA.

On one front though, museum bosses have had to back down following sustained pressure from TSSA. They had planned to introduce a new ‘Museum Grade’, known as Band 0, which would have slashed the starting salaries of the lowest paid staff by 20 per cent, and set a dangerous precedent for the rest of TfL. However, at a Company Council meeting in early December, the TfL management confirmed categorically that the so-called ‘Museum Grade’ had now been rejected.

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Take action

The money saved by cutting the museum’s funding is a tiny proportion of Transport for London’s (TfL) budget, equating to 0.36 per cent of the amount TfL gave to its subsidiaries last year. Yet the impact on the museum could be devastating, and we are calling on TfL to reinstate the full funding.

TSSA has worked with John Cryer MP to put down an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament and is calling on MPs to show their support for the museum. Dozens of MPs have already signed up but we need TSSA members to encourage many more to do the same. You can do this using our simple model email tool at the link below.

The EDM reads: ‘That this House notes the funding crisis at London Transport Museum, arising from cuts of 1.5 million over four years and the loss of an Arts Council grant; recognises that the aforementioned sum is a tiny proportion of Transport for London’s (TfL) budget, equating to 0.36 per cent of the amount that TfL gave to its subsidiaries in 2011-12; applauds the major contribution of the museum to the preservation of London’s transport heritage and education in the city’s schools and diverse communities; and calls on the Mayor of London and the TfL board to reinstate the cut funding.’

Has your MP signed up yet?

By visiting www.tssa.org.uk/LondonTransportMuseum, you can ask your MP to show their backing for London’s transport heritage.

You can also show your support by joining our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/SaveLondonTransportMuseum.
 

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